Teams

Fort William Americans Senior Little League
Photo

Team Year and Name

1967 Fort William Americans Senior Little League

Achievement

Canadian Champions

Induction Year

1996

Biography

When the 1967 Fort William Americans Senior Little League Team began their journey along the road to the national title, they had a pretty impressive record to live up to. A victory would mark the third time a team from Fort William had become Canadian champions in just four years. Winning their league title, the team advanced to the District No. 3 playdowns. Defeating the Fort William Nationals 2-1 in extra innings, they then challenged Port Arthur advancing to the provincial championships with a 9-3 victory.

Facing Kirkland Lake they earned entry to the next level along the trail with a 5-4 win. At the Canadian Senior Little League Championships the team defeated Stoney Creek 2-0 in the semi-finals. Facing Edmonton in the best of three Canadian finals their two straight victories of 6-0 and 2-0 earned them the title of Canadian Champs and a chance to represent their country at the Senior Little League World Series.

A double knockout event, the team faced defeat their first time out against the strong team from Westbury, New York. Shutting out the team from Matamoros, Mexico with a 2-0 victory, they made history by becoming the first Canadian team to win a game in the world series championships. Needing another victory to advance to the next round, the team met up against the home town favourites from West Des Moines. Taking a 1-0 lead in the third inning, a two-run homer in the fourth by the Des Moines team, and an insurance marker in the sixth, saw Fort William eliminated from the series with a close fought 3-1 defeat.

The members of this Canadian championship and World Series history making team included:
Mike Busniuk (P), Rick Bragnalo (LF & SS), Ron Compardo (OF), Stephen Gain (OF), Barry Hauta (3B), Randy Howe (C), Igor Kacerik (SS), Mike Kachur (CF), Joseph Lipinski (OF), Lorne Roneki (1B), Doug Smith (OF), Jim Szturm (2B), Tom Wiegand (P), Henry Wojda (OF), Tony Delvecchio (Manager) and Maurice Sawchuk (Coach)

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 28, 1996